PODCAST Cue the dancing girls, lower the props, raise the curtain — we’re taking on Broadway’s most famous producer, Florenz Ziegfeld! We give you a brief overview of the first days of Broadway, then sweep into Ziegfeld’s life — from his early successes (both professional and personal) to his famous Follies. And find out how the current Ziegfeld Theatre, a movie house, relates to the original Ziegfeld Theatre, home of Broadway’s first ‘real’ musical, Show Boat.
This was originally released on January 16, 2009.
NOW WITH BONUS CONTENT: Almost ten minutes of newly recorded material in 2015, adding a couple more interesting details about Anna Held, the current Ziegfeld movie theater and the life of the last living Ziegfeld girl!
A special illustrated version of the podcast on the Ziegfeld Follies (Episode #74) is now available on our NYC History Archive feed, via iTunes or other podcast distribution services. Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up. The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Florenz Ziegfeld and Anna Held on a quick carriage-ride jaunt in 1904
Ziegfeld’s first star — the strongman Eugen Sandow. As with his later female dancers in the Follies, Ziegfeld often posed his stars in scantily-clad ‘classical’ pose. As long as they didn’t move, this sort of tableaux vivant was not considered obscene!
Anna Held — Ziegfeld’s lover and biggest star — posing for ‘A Parlor Match’
The original Ziegfeld Theatre at 54th Street and Sixth Avenue, taken in 1927
A few more notable Ziegfeld girls — like Kay Laurell (photo taken in 1915)
Anna Pennington, photo taken 1910-1915
Louise Alexander, later Mrs. Louise Strang, photo taken 1908
Unidentified showgirl from the Follies of 1917
Unidentified performer in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931
Billie Burke in 1912, in some play called The Mind-The-Paint Girl